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FTL – Full Truckload

What is Truckload (Full Truckload) TL/FTL #

Truckload shipping is the movement of large amounts of homogeneous cargo, generally the amount necessary to fill an entire semi-trailer or intermodal container, or a partial load shipment but that for any reason occupies an entire truck (the shipper can decide to pay for a full truck even if their product may not need it). A truckload carrier is a trucking company that generally contracts an entire trailer-load to a single customer. This is as opposed to a less-than truckload (LTL) company that generally mixes freight from several customers in each trailer. Truckload shipments are typically run on 48′ or 53’dry van trailers which will hold 24 or 26 pallets respectively.


Benefits of truckload shipping.

  • Faster transit times: Goods that are shipped via full truckload generally arrive at their destination quicker than goods that are shipped via LTL’s hub-and-spoke model.
  • Less chance of damage: Full truckload shipments are generally less susceptible to damages as they are handled less times than LTL shipments.
  • Better Rates: If shipments are large enough to require the entire use of a trailer’s space, it could be more cost effective than booking multiple LTL shipments.


Truckload shipping best practices.

  • Be informed: Shippers should conduct research to understand the supply and demand of truckload equipment and how it impacts rates.
  • Be consistent: Shipping the same amount of freight, on a regular schedule, to the same locations, could help you to secure consistent capacity.
  • Be flexible: Shippers that plan ahead and leave time for their shipments to fit a carrier’s schedule could realize cost savings.
  • Be efficient: Packaging shipments so they are loaded and unloaded easily will improve efficiency and productivity.


Types of truckload equipment.

  • Dry van: Typically used to move dry goods that are not temperature-sensitive.
  • Flatbed: This trailer does not have walls and is typically used for shipments that can’t be loaded through trailer doors.
  • Refrigerated: The equipment used for these shipments keeps freight at your desired temperature.





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